Confidential Settlement for Railroad Conductor Diagnosed with Diesel Fume Asthma/Lung Disease

What Happened:


A railroad conductor worked for a major railroad for over 30 years and claimed to have suffered lung disease including diesel fume asthma as a result of prolonged exposure to diesel fumes, mainly while riding in railroad locomotive engines that allow diesel fumes to get into the engine cab area. Specifically, many railroad switching engines, especially those used commonly prior to 1990, positioned exhaust stacks of the locomotive engines in a position where the diesel fumes would trail right into the engine cab's because the engines did not have any air conditioning, were hot, and common use required that the windows and/or doors be opened. The positioning of the exhaust stack of old switcher engines manufactured by General Motors, Electro-motive division, or General Electric, simply allowed diesel fume exhaust to stream into the locomotive engine cabs.


Key Law Firm Strategy:


Our law firm has developed a major body of medical and scientific evidence that diesel fumes, if inhaled over prolonged periods of time, lead to a variety of health conditions including diesel fume asthma, airways disease, reactive airways disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as higher rates of lung and other cancers. We have consulted with top experts around the country, and have researched the medical literature. Notably, a very recent 2009 study by a well-known researcher in the United States, determined increased death rates categorized as chronic destructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because of the long term exposure to diesel fumes. The major study excluded the effect of cigarette smoking and still found higher death rates associated with (C. O. P. D.)  associated with long-term exposure to diesel fumes at railroads. Previous medical studies have shown increased rates of lung cancer associated with long-term exposure to diesel fumes and this author has written on this topic previously. Also, a wide variety of conditions commonly called diesel fume asthma have been associated with prolonged exposure to diesel fumes. Despite a cigarette smoking history, we were able to successfully resolve the case and obtain compensation for our client very close to the date of the jury trial.


Settled for confidential substantial sum


Law firm staff:

Richard N. Shapiro, attorney

Donald Case, investigator

Randy Appleton, attorney

Roslyn Hughes, paralegal

Meg Cudden, legal assistant